Locals watching for ice jams

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
shaun@thecitizenchronicle.com

SOUTHBRIDGE — While the weather has wrecked havoc with ice jams or flooding in Athol, Ware, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, local authorities are keeping an eye out as well.

The Southbridge Fire Department tweeted at 12:34pm that they had been notified of an ice jam on the Quinebaug River, somewhere between Route 197 and Fabyan, Conn. The information had been relayed to the fire department through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Multiple citizens near the Southbridge/Charlton border have shared video of roaring and rising waters. Dan Butler, The Citizen Chronicle‘s own “Storm Magnet,” shared a video late this morning of Cady Brook roaring downstream with large tree branches and even larger chunks of ice whisking by. Brittney Kavanaugh of Worcester Street posted a video of Cady Brook flooding into the backyard of her apartment complex, where the water has visibly submerged some of the wooden steps leading to a porch or deck.

While many of the area’s bodies of water are in a semi-frozen over state, the Quinebaug River, as seen from Mechanic Street in Southbridge, has large chunks of ice amassing behind the American Lanes bowling alley.

The Quinebaug River is nearly 70 miles in length, and runs through much of the region. It was once the source of power for the American Optical Company, and has flooded several times. The most notable of those floods came in August 1955 in the wake of Hurricane Diane.

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